From the point of view of law, a law is a written and codified legal norm that establishes a series of rights or obligations. The laws must be complied with and respected by all those who are within the jurisdiction to which they apply, otherwise they will be sanctioned.
Laws are a fundamental piece in every society, since they regulate the behaviour of citizens with a view to a harmonious coexistence and the common good.
There are different classifications regarding laws, all based on different criteria:
1) Depending on the origin:
Laws in the material sense. They are all the regulations issued by authorities trained and authorized to do so, that is, they should not be issued specifically by the legislative power. For example: a municipal ordinance that establishes the charge for plastic bags in the supermarket.
Laws in the formal sense. They are all the norms sanctioned by the legislative power according to a process established in the national constitution. For example: the constitution itself, which is made up of articles issued and modified by legislators.
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2) According to your mode:
- declarative laws. They are those whose purpose is to establish the specific definition of concepts and interpretations that will be used by the judge in charge to rule on a ruling. For example: an article that defines the term “thing” as all material objects likely to have a value.
- prohibitive laws. They are those norms that restrict human behaviour considered inappropriate, that is, those that veto. For example: a law that prevents smoking in public offices.
- permissive laws. Are those rules that authorize certain behaviours of the individual. For example: the right to property.
3) According to your rank:
- Constitutional laws. They are the conglomeration of laws enumerated in the framework of the national constitution of each country, which establish specific principles according to which the legislation must be handled. They are known as fundamental since they are the highest ranking within the system.
- organic laws. They are the laws that determine the fundamental rights of citizens and usually require a majority in the legislative body to be sanctioned. For example: a law that regulates the electoral process of a country.
- ordinary laws. They are the laws that have a lower order of hierarchy than the organic laws and can be sanctioned with a simple minority. For example: a budget law.
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4) Depending on the scope of application:
- civil laws. They are those norms that involve patrimonial and personality rights, such as contracts, successions, capacities; and legal-family relations such as marriage, guardianship, kinship and others. For example: divorce law.
- criminal laws. They are those norms that assign responsibilities to the subjects, sanction infractions and determine penalties. For example: law that provides penalties for anyone who counterfeits currency that is legal tender in a country.
- Commercial laws. They are those rules whose purpose is to regulate all types of relationship between the act of commerce itself and the person who performs the act, that is, the so-called merchants. For example: laws that regulate patents.
5) According to the geographical area of application:
national laws. They are those regulations whose main characteristic is to be only valid within the national territory in which they were sanctioned.
provincial laws. They are those regulations promulgated by specific organizations of each province, so they should only be complied with and taken into account within it.
6) According to its structure:
- Strict laws. They are also known as rigid and are those specific and determining norms that cannot be evaluated according to each particular case.
- flexible laws. They are those that leave room for the judge to take into account the particularities corresponding to each situation.
7) According to its purpose:
Tax laws. They are those norms that establish the parameters that regulate the relationship between the State and the taxpaying subjects. For example: law that provides penalties for those who defraud the treasury.
Environmental laws. They are those regulations that have the main purpose of protecting the environment. For example: a law that establishes the minimum environmental budgets for the preservation of water, its exploitation and rational use.
Labour laws. Are those rules that regulate and determine the relationship between employee and employer. For example: a law that establishes employee vacations.
Disability laws. They are those regulations that use provisions to protect the rights of people with different capacities. For example: law that establishes a system of basic comprehensive care benefits for people with disabilities.
Traffic laws. They are those rules that establish all the rights and obligations by which drivers and pedestrians must abide. For example: a law that establishes the documents that the driver must have to circulate on public roads.